dark night

Meditation Moment

January, 2014

Darkest Night of the Soul

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, which means each night following gets shorter, each day gets that much longer, until the summer solstice in June.

Some people stay up on the longest night of the year, burning Yule logs, waiting to witness the rebirth of the sun.  This meditation is for those of us who like that idea, but really don’t have the energy to pull that kind of thing off.

I have designed this meditation to work as a miniature “darkest night of the soul,” where you give form to your negative energy until it crushes itself out of you, leaving only the best and brightest parts of you behind.

As always, make yourself comfortable and separate yourself from distractions.  In a moment, you will give form to the darkest parts of yourself, so it would be prudent to surround yourself with cleansing and protective tools.  You may consider performing this meditation in the bathtub, soaking in sea salt water, with incense or essential oils.  You could sit surrounded by tea light candles, light some sage, and create a protective circle to capture and nullify the negative energy.  You can use stones, jewelry, and any other tools that call to you for this purpose.  Get all set up, set aside at least half an hour of uninterrupted you-time, and get to it.

Breathe deeply and slowly.  With every inhale, feel peace and relaxation overtake your mind, heart, body, and spirit.  With every exhale, feel stress and tension pour out of you through your breath.

Imagine yourself waiting out the longest night of the year, witnessing the darkness.  As the hours drag on, all your worries, fears, and hurts seem to grow in size and power in the dark.  You can sense them swelling up like balloons filled with the breath of your complaints, or sponges soaking up the energy of your overwhelm, getting so big and so close to you they block out the light of the stars, even the light of the moon.

These negative energies get bigger and stronger the more you dwell on them, sometimes taking on the voices and features of people in your life who embody each for you – the people who criticize you, the people who discourage you, the people who hurt you, upset you, anger you, while nameless fears and unvoiced pains smother you.  Under the weight of this crushing negativity, you feel yourself break open.

You can’t take anymore, so you release.  You cry.  You rage.  You shake.  You scream.  You let it all out, push all the fear, all the hurt, all the shame, all the blame, all the anger and frustration OUT of you, giving it back to the Earth.  When it’s over, when you feel most empty, you discover a simple truth about yourself.

When all of the darkness is expelled, only light remains.

At your heart, you are light.  You are made of stars, and they shine inside you, nourished by hope, joy, love, and gratitude.  Feed your light now, at this, your rebirth.  Bathe yourself in memories of all of your favorite pleasures.  Fill yourself with unconditional love as you have experienced it, perhaps for a child or a pet, and hold that love close to yourself.  Remember the things that make you smile, the surprises that make you laugh with joy.  Allow tears of gratitude to overflow from your eyes as you fervently thank the Light for the people, memories, and things that you most cherish, and for the gifts you can now feel are on their way to you, called by your light.

The more you feed your light, the brighter it shines, the bigger it grows, pushing away those dark demons of despair and overwhelm that beat you down before.  For this glorious moment, the light inside you has triumphed over the dark.  You’ve done it once, and you know you can do it again, and each time you will do it just a bit longer, each time your light will be that much stronger.

Filled with radiance, with hope, love, gratitude, and joy, come back to yourself.  Breathe.  Stretch.  Hug yourself.  Laugh.  Give voice to your joy.

Welcome home.